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Piano on center stage in Recital Hall

Dean's Letter

Dean Marvin Curtis

April is here as we can tell by the budding trees, flowers, and greener grass but March was quite a month for the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts.  Three of our students were selected to attend the Ezio Pinza Council for the American Singers of Opera ( EPCASO ) program in Oderzo, Italy this summer, three won piano competitions, and there were numerous performances, lectures, and exhibits.  Two more of our vocal students have been given the opportunity to sing as soloists with the South Bend Symphony next season (2012-13) and fourteen students signed up for summer study in Florence, Italy. Michael Lasater, area coordinator in New Media, has  an exhibit opening at the South Bend Museum. Visits were made to several South Bend Schools announcing our first ever summer arts camp and we are moving towards our first summer theater season in Elkhart.

April will be busy as we come to the conclusion of the academic year. The Gilbert and Sullivan operetta HMS Pinafore sets sail on April 12 and we invite you to come aboard ship. This is a unique production as we combine the students with members of the Symphonic Choir of South Bend. There will again be a great deal of activity as our students participate in junior and senior recitals, BFA exhibits, and Speech Night.  We celebrate the eight hour radio documentary, Russian Accents, featuring the Toradze Piano Studio on national classical radio station WFMT. This program was made possible by a National Endowment for the Arts grant and other donors.   We end the month by hosting the 2011 Governor’s Arts Awards celebrating those individuals in Indiana who have earned state wide recognition for their service in the arts.  We are pleased that two of the six recipients are from South Bend, Philanthropist June Edwards and our own Alexander Toradze. The event takes place on April 26 and I look forward to many of you being in attendance.  Our theater department promises to create a spectacular setting for this once in a life-time event.

Our students are demonstrating that they are among the best.  Our school is growing and we look forward to the continued growth. We now can count on at least 160 students that have a minor in the arts, a new record.  We look forward to the celebration of our student art awards ceremony and the graduation in May.  Join us as we aspire to provide the opportunities our students need to be among the best in the world.  Come and celebrate with us!

Marvin Curtis